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Should I replace the carpet before selling my home?

Summer is here and the market is hot. With demand high and inventory low, sellers have the edge. It’s important to capitalize on this by doing everything possible to guarantee you get top dollar for your home.

Always remember, however, that even though it feels intensely personal, selling a home is a business transaction, probably one of the largest ones you will ever be part of. It’s imperative that you look at it this way.

One of our jobs as realtors is to help our sellers get their homes ready for market. That said, be aware that a little constructive criticism is warranted. We take apart your home and put it back together with the buyer in mind. We look through a buyer’s eyes with every consideration. They notice everything. Make sure your first impression is a good one. You will not get a second chance.


Q. In the past 10 years, the value of my condo has declined by more than $30,000. I have replaced major items like the furnace, hot water heater, and downstairs carpeting and done minor updates. I plan to market the condo next spring. My dilemma: The carpeting on the stairs and in the hallway is not in the best shape. And the colors of the bedroom carpeting are iffy. It will cost a lot to do the stairs and move all the bedroom furniture. I wanted to offer $2,500 cash at closing so people can pick their own colors. Which will make for a better sale: cash or replacement? Thank you!


A. Replacement, every day of the week. The buyers will grab that $2,500 and ask for much more. Today’s buyers don’t have time for that work. They like new.

In addition, you will shrink your buyer pool because your photographs will tell the same story that you are telling me, but it will be worse. Your home will look lousy online, and you will lose potential buyers before they even walk through the door.


It will cost you thousands more not to do this work before selling.

If you replace the carpet and paint the rooms, your home will show MUCH better, in person and online. There’s nothing like a fresh coat of neutral paint for a clean, new feel. It will also help prospective buyers picture their own belongings in your home. Replace that worn carpeting. It is certain to make any room look old and tired. While you’re at it, tuck away the items that might be distracting or personal, such as family photos, children’s artwork, and all those magnets stuck to the fridge. You might even consider consulting a professional stager for advice on the best way to arrange your furniture and add pops of color.

You should end up selling for much more than you ever would have if you didn’t do the work. Good luck!

Marjorie Youngren is a broker at RE/MAX Leading Edge in Lynnfield. E-mail your questions to